Yield 12 servings
This festive, aromatic spiced pear bundt cake is a spectacular centerpiece for any and all fall, winter, and holiday gatherings.
For the Crispy Pear Chips
For the Spiced Pear Bundt Cake
For the Salted Caramel Sauce
For the Crispy Pear Chips: Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sugar in a shallow plate. Using a paper towel, pat the pear slices dry, then carefully dip both sides of each pear slice into the sugar to coat. Transfer the pear slices to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Carefully turn, then bake for an additional 60 to 90 minutes, or until the pear chips are light golden. (The chips will finish crisping up as they cool.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an open container, with parchment paper sheets in between layers to avoid the pear chips from sticking to one another, until ready to use.
For the Spiced Pear Bundt Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). If you’re using a dark Bundt pan, preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Generously butter and flour the interior of the Bundt pan, shaking out any excess flour.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, beat the sugars and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition until smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
With the mixer on low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter-and-sugar mixture, followed by half of the milk. Continue alternating flour and milk until all have been added. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then beat the batter on high speed for 20 to 30 seconds. Using a spatula, fold the pears into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 65 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the edges of pan, and a bamboo skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the spiced pear bundt cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently invert it onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Salted Caramel Sauce: In a small aluminum saucepan with tall sides set over medium heat, cook the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the mixture caramelizes and turns amber-colored, 7 to 8 minutes.
Immediately remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the cream. The mixture will sputter and splash, so wearing an oven mitt and/or long sleeves is a great idea. If the mixture sieves up, whisk it over medium heat just until it becomes smooth again.
Add the butter, vanilla, and salt, whisk until smooth, and allow it to cool to room temperature. If you’re making the sauce in advance, transfer it to a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
SERVING: Serve the Spiced Pear Bundt Cake at room temperature. Gently reheat the salted caramel sauce if it was refrigerated. Drizzle the sauce over the cake, then stand some apple chips on top of the cake, gently pressing them down to slightly insert them into the caramel and the cake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, if using. Present the cake to your guests, bask into their compliments, then slice into portions and drizzle each with more caramel.
Recipe by Food Nouveau at https://foodnouveau.com/recipes/desserts/cakes-pies/spiced-pear-bundt-cake/